200 patients seen at free skin check event in Pueblo; 2nd free event scheduled for Colorado Springs on Saturday

In August, 200 people in our area got their skin checked by dermatologists for free. Some of them had a difficult diagnosis. They showed up for the KKTV 11 News and Vanguard Skin Specialists drive-thru spot check in Pueblo. It’s the second one we’ve had this summer.
Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 8:57 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - There is no doubt the staff at Vanguard Skin Specialists is determined to save lives. They started the KKTV/Vanguard Skin Specialists drive-thru with a cheer.

“How do you save a life? Skin check!” They shouted.

On Aug. 18, they saved lives. At least 10 patients who came through the drive-thru at the practice in Pueblo learned they may have a deadly skin cancer, melanoma.

"It's a chance for us to see individuals who don't have the means or the ability to come in the office to set up an appointment because maybe they lost their insurance, maybe they don't have a job anymore, or maybe they're scared to come in and they've been waiting to look at something for a long time and it's just that time," said Vanguard Physician Assistant Joe Cari.

It was that time for patient Monica Godec. She wasn’t willing to wait for our next event in September. On Aug.18, she made the 45-minute drive from Colorado Springs to Pueblo to get checked.

“I used to suntan back in the 80s with no sunscreen,” said Godec. “I have a red patch on my nose that was concerning that wouldn’t go away. [Dr. Chung] said it was probably pre-cancerous and I need to have some work done so I don’t have to have surgery.”

“What we found on [Monica] was a very early pre-cancerous spot that’s completely treatable,” Dr. Vinh Chung said. “If we take care of it now, we can avoid surgeries in the future.”

If you missed the event in Pueblo, we have another drive-thru event coming up on Saturday. The event is Sept. 12, from 9 a.m. to noon at Vanguard Skin Specialists in Colorado Springs. It is located at 9348 Grand Cordera Parkway.

Click here for more on a woman who believes the first-ever skin check event saved her life.


What is the Spot Check?

KKTV and Vanguard Skin Specialists encourage you to examine yourself for any new or changing moles. If you have a suspicious spot, get it checked out. The dermatologists at Vanguard Skin Specialists will be available to examine your concerning spots, new moles, and changing moles.

Due to the drive-through nature of the event, this is NOT a full-body skin cancer screening. We will check spots you are concerned about, and areas that are easily viewable and accessible from your car or right outside your car.

What is the process?

Simply show up on Friday afternoon, and you will be directed to a drive through line. You will be asked to fill out basic demographic information and a waiver.

If you have a spot that is easily visible, you can step out of your car and a dermatologist or dermatology PA will take a quick look. If you need some privacy for us to view the concerning spot, you will be directed to a tent. You will receive a presumptive diagnosis on what the spot could be and a recommendation on whether you need further evaluation.

What is not included?

If you have a spot that appears atypical or malignant, the dermatology provider will recommend a biopsy. This is a diagnostic procedure to confirm what type of growth you have. The biopsy and/or recommended follow up with a dermatologist is the responsibility of the patient.

What should I wear?

If the spot is on your face, please do not wear makeup. Wear clothing that makes it easy for the dermatology provider to see the spot(s) you are concerned about. Please wear a mask.

Will there be social distancing?

The Spot Check is provided as a drive-through screening to allow for social distancing. You may remain in your car. Our volunteer team will be temperature screened and wearing masks. We also change gloves and disinfect our hands between patients. We disinfect all pens and clipboards.

Who are the dermatology providers volunteering for the Spot Check Event?

Vinh Chung, MD

Michael Leslie, MD

Renata Prado, MD

Maria Sheron, MD

Landon Barton, PA-C

What if it rains?

We will be performing our Spot Check rain or shine. If we have thunderstorms, we will not be able to have the event.

Will I be on TV?

The KKTV news crew will be on-site, so your image or video may appear on KKTV. KKTV will not film patient examinations or release patient information without your consent. KKTV will not have access to your medical record.

Does this replace my regular dermatology visit?

No, the Spot Check is not a substitute for a thorough full-body skin exam performed in an office setting. Many skin cancers can be detected only from a thorough skin exam, and all adults should see their doctor annually for a skin cancer screening exam.

What if I have a concerning spot that needs follow up?

You may follow up with Vanguard Skin Specialists, your regular dermatologist, or another dermatologist in the area. You may find a list of dermatologists at

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